THE countdown has begun for the first Barry Fringe Festival with performances featuring turns from former Britain’s Got Talent acts.

Presented by The Small Space theatre, in Island Road, Barry, the Fringe presents a dozen shows, over five days, from Wednesday, July 17 to Sunday, July 21.

The inaugural event promises to showcase incredible magicians, comics, and musicians.

Fringe director, Jasper Blakeley said he was determined to bring a great range of shows to the town.

He said: “I felt it was really important to make sure that we had family shows as well as the usual night time stand-up shows, not only that we’ve got some incredible magic and music for adults too.”

The Small Space directors are privately funding the five-day event and they were adamant on securing the very best performers.

Small Space business partner, and fellow magician, Bryan Gunton said: “We chose the month before the Edinburgh Fringe Festival so we could attract acts wanting to get in a last minute run of their new shows.

“Unlike a typical Fringe, we’ve guaranteed each act a fee and, where necessary, even paid for them to stay at a local hotel.

“To get quality established acts to travel to south Wales and perform you have to make an investment.

“We wanted to showcase some world-class talent and that’s what we’ve managed to bring to Barry in July.”

There are several Britain’s Got Talent 2018 live semi-finalists to see including off-the-wall Welsh comic Noel James and comedy magician Mandy Muden who sported leopard print attire and came out with great one-liners.

Also featured are regional stand-ups Robin Morgan and Ignacio Lopez and one of Europe’s best card magicians, Daniel Chard who hails from Bristol.

Mr Blakeley said: “I was also really pleased to get the Victorian-style magician Sylvia Sceptre (alter ego of performer Careena Fenton) along with Channel 4’s original street magician Paul Zenon – seen a lot nowadays performing magic and looking in dictionaries on Countdown.”

Mr Blakeley pulled in a big favour to get the closing act of the Fringe.

“Over the weekend we’ve got two fantastic internationally acclaimed family magicians in Mark James and Darren Mac,” he said. “But Sunday night I convinced my friend Louise Clare Marshall to come and sing come soul and jazz with a local jazz trio.

“Now many people will have seen Louise sing on TV every year for the past decade without realising it as she sings with Jools Holland on tour and on his New Year’s Eve TV show, she’s a recording artist in her own right and has suing with everyone from Chaka Khan to Robbie Williams and Van Morrison, she’s incredible.”

For information and tickets log onto

Tickets can also be bought in Homemade Wales, 9 High Street, Barry.

The Barry Fringe Festival runs from Wednesday, July 17 to Sunday, July 21.